OPINION: Tom Brady will remain the G.O.A.T., no matter the results of Super Bowl LIII

Even a loss would leave Brady untouched at the top NFL player


Keith Allison - CC BY-SA 2.0

Whether or not he wins Super Bowl LIII, Tom Brady will remain the best player in the sport's history.

Andres Aguirre

Super Bowl LIII is set to kickoff Sunday between the Los Angeles Rams and the New England Patriots, and it’ll be Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s ninth appearance in the last 18 years.

Since the 2001 season, New England has won five championships in the team’s Tom Brady and Bill Belichick era.

Every American football team’s goal is to win the Super Bowl any other result is considered a failure.

With all the accolades the Patriots and Brady have acquired the past 17 years, some might think a loss at the Super Bowl to bring their championship record to 5-4 would hit hard enough to damage their legacies.

I say otherwise.

No matter the outcome on Sunday, Brady will go down in history as the greatest National Football League player of all time.

No other franchise or individual player has been as dominant in the past 17 years as Brady and the Patriots have been.

As a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, this hurts to admit. But I have to recognize his greatness and respect what he has accomplished in his career.

Brady already has the most Super Bowl victories for a quarterback in history and, with a win Sunday, the Patriots will tie the record with the Steelers for the most Super Bowl wins with six Lombardi Trophies.

Brady has exceeded all expectations throughout his career because there were no expectations when he first entered the league.

The Patriots drafted him in the sixth round with the 199th overall pick out of University of Michigan. Six other quarterbacks were drafted before Brady.

With being drafted so low, Brady would play as a backup to the Patriots’ franchise centerpiece quarterback Drew Bledsoe.

The only chance Brady would get to seeing the field would be if Bledsoe got injured, which is exactly what happened in 2001 when Bledsoe got injured early on a crushing hit by Mo Lewis of the New York Jets.

Brady replaced him and played so well that Bledsoe never got the starting job back.

Brady and the Patriots ended up winning the Super Bowl that year on a last-second field goal against the then-St. Louis Rams. That victory was the start of the dynasty that continues to reign today.

Yes, I believe Brady will still be the G.O.A.T. no matter the outcome this Sunday, but that does not mean his career has been perfect.

The future Hall of Famer does have three Super Bowl losses on his record. There was Spygate — where the NFL caught the Patriots recording opposing teams’ plays during the years New England won its first three Super Bowls.

The league punished the Patriots in the 2007 season by fining head coach Belichick heavily and docking the team’s first-round pick for the 2008 draft.

The Patriots went undefeated that 2007 regular season behind Brady’s record-setting 50 touchdowns. New England was still undefeated heading to the Super Bowl against the New York Giants. The Giants spoiled the Patriots’ quest for perfection and it is perhaps Brady’s greatest failure in his career, if you don’t count Deflate Gate.

Three Super Bowl losses and one Spygate debacle should not be enough to knock Brady off as the all-time greatest.

At 41-years-old, Brady is still considered the best quarterback in the game. He has won three NFL MVPs, four Super Bowl MVPs, five championships and has more passing yards in regular season and playoffs (81,431) than any other passer in the league’s history.

He has done it all without a big-name superstar wide receiver. Yes, Randy Moss did help the Patriots go 18-1 in 2007 and yes Rob Gronkowski has helped New England win a couple of Super Bowls, but it is still Brady that throws them the ball.

Every year, it seems that the Patriots are expected to be in the Super Bowl because they have done it so many times before.

To play this well at age 41 and accomplish everything Brady has is remarkable and it is something that we may never see again.